The Return To Work Might Not Look As You’d Hoped

After more than a year spent working from home, the coming months are likely to see thousands return to a physical workplace in some capacity. But for many, getting to grips with what the return to work will look like is hard.

When lockdown was first announced, shifting to a work from home model was an upheaval for lots of people – “it was uncomfortable and didn’t feel quite right,” Dr Teralyn Sell, a psychotherapist and brain health expert, tells HuffPost UK. As time went on, people started to see the benefits: extra time with family, no commute, home-cooked lunches, and avoiding the stress of office politics. But now, some are having to jump right back in again.

Dr Sell likens the whole ordeal to frogs in a pot of boiling water. “As frogs, we were pretty comfortable as the water slowly boiled over time,” says the therapist, referring to our working habits pre-Covid. “What we didn’t know was when we were set free out of the water, it felt really good. Now we are being asked to voluntarily jump back into an already boiling pot.”

The issue is, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to the Big Return. People want different things. And what they want – and what their employer wants – may not always align. Some employees want a hybrid model, splitting their time between the office and home. Others want to work from home full-time, while some simply want to be in the office for good. And companies can’t please everyone.

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